Oriental Hall, etc.

Happenings, speakers, and events at the American University in Cairo in Fall 2017.

Omar Robert Hamilton has chronicled the Egyptian uprising in many forms: essays, films, and even video footage. He added fiction to his oeuvre with his debut novel, The City Always Wins, published in June 2017. The HUSSLab, a research initiative focused on promoting public humanities in Egypt and the Global South, held a discussion with the novelist and filmmaker at AUC Tahrir’s Oriental Hall, who explained that his novel attempted to capture “a psychological access to a point of time.” “The novel gained that knowledge trajectory of what life feels like,” he added, especially during the 2011 uprising and the events of 2013. The poignant and psychological qualities of Hamilton’s novel caused it to resonate not only with Egyptians, but also with those who watched the uprising from afar. “Those years don’t just matter to us. The revolution was actually an event of major world importance.”

In 2014, the Kurdistan Regional Governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran began negotiations on a pipeline that would export Kurdish oil to the Persian Gulf via Iran. The new pipeline could bring Iraqi Kurds one step closer to economic and national independence, but will most likely foster greater division among Kurds, who have different allegiances with Iraq, Turkey, and Iran, argued Cameron Bell, former aide to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a lecture hosted by AUC’s Middle East Studies Center called “Redrawing the Map: Pipelines and Politics in the Kurdish Quest for Independence.” “Within Kurdistan, there is a nasty fight over access and power and monetization of these assets,” Bell said. “Rather than uniting the Kurds, their oil assets have divided them.” Bell also highlighted other regional implications the deal could trigger such as greater dependence on Iran, pushback from the central authority in Baghdad, and possible tensions in Kurdistan’s relationship with Turkey and the entire region.